According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, don’t expect Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland to make a contract extension offer to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins quite yet.
While the team would love to get him signed and locked into a long-term deal, Spector said neither side has put a ton of pressure on the other to get a deal done. In fact, the Oilers feel like they have an internal, somewhat informal ceiling that should protect the contract from getting too out of hand.
Spector notes that Nugent-Hopkins could be looking for a deal around Leon Draisaitl‘s $8.5 million. That would be the high end. The good news about this deal is first, the Oilers don’t believe it will cost that much. Second, even if it did, that still doesn’t put the team in the same situation as a franchise like Toronto which is far too top-heavy.
Because Connor McDavid is signed at a high, but very reasonable deal and Draisaitl is signed to a deal many consider to be a steal right now, Nugent-Hopkins can fit in around the $7.5-$8 million mark and it not be an albatross for the organization.
The expectation is that Nugent-Hopkins would like to stay and that he wouldn’t ask for more than what Draisaitl is making, considering the German just won the Art Ross Trophy.
So When Should Edmonton Sign Nugent-Hopkins?
It would still be wise to sign Nuge long before the Oilers “have” to get a deal done. That doesn’t mean it needs to be this summer/offseason or immediately.
There is some worry he’ll explode offensively which doesn’t make it easier to get Nugent-Hopkins on a value deal, but there’s also not a concern his value will shoot past Draisaitl’s, giving the Oilers some time to see if Nuge can pick up where he left off as the season went on pause.